Friday, 12 February 2010

Essential new book - but too late for the election?

My friends, I'm looking forward to reading this new book from the co-founder and Chief Executive of The Young Britons’ Foundation, Donal Blaney. Here's the description of 'Politics: The Rules of the Game' from Amazon:

'Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it'. So said Winston Churchill. The same might also be said of politics. "The Rules of the Game" takes a wry look at 65 'laws' by which any smart political observer ought to regulate their conduct if they plan to get ahead and stay there. Such laws as 'Don't Get Mad - Except On Purpose', 'You Can't Beat A Plan With No Plan' and 'Moral Outrage Is The Most Powerful Motivating Force In Politics' whilst previously unwritten, are essential to the progress of any political operator. As obsessed with political history as so many politicians, journalists or students might be, it is remarkable how many times the same problems arise, the same issues are debated and the same (sometimes career-ending) mistakes are made. Written in a wry, amusing and non-partisan style and with up to date references to recent political events including Smeargate, US healthcare reform and the debate on climate change, "The Rules of the Game" is an indispensable guide to politics - wherever you live and at whatever level the game is played.

There are two problems I've identified with it, however.

First, surely a book about political campaigning ought to have had a publication date earlier than this one, coming as it does so close to the General Election in the UK when everyone will be in campaign mode already. Secondly, was it really wise to publish on April Fools' Day?

Anyway, I'm sure it will prove to be a pithy and indispensable guide for future campaigns and meanwhile those who want their daily dose of Blaney wit and wisdom should bookmark his entertaining blog offering provocative and opinionated commentary on politics, current affairs, football and culture, Blaney's Blarney.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Fundamentalist religious response to Haiti

My friends, I don't think I even need to begin to explain why this ludicrously offensive comment blaming human failings for Haiti's earthquake is indefensibly stupid. I'll just let it speak for itself.

What is strange is how everyone seems to be picking up on Pat Robertson's unpleasant comments, but ignoring this one...

Thursday, 10 December 2009

The 12 Days of Global Warming

My friends, it's nearly Christmas but we're not there yet. So in the meantime let the people at Minnesotans for Global Warming tell you about the 12 Days of Global Warming.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Global Warming Quiz Time

My friends, I have little to add to the gathering storm centred upon the leaked emails from the CRU, other than to say that watching the enviromentalists squirm in the corrupt mess of their own making is quite compelling.

However, given the lack of detailed coverage by the mainstream media (credit where credit is due, Fox News and the BBC have both covered it), I though this quick quiz will help you all work out what's been going on:

So you think you know climate science? - the quiz

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

The Watermelon Environmentalists get a new recruit

My friends, remember those Watermelon environmentalists - green on the surface but red when you delve deeper? You know, the one's wanting to use green politics as a means to a socialist end? Well they've a new recruit.

Beatrix Campbell, the journalist, author, broadcaster, campaigner and playwright, now has a new title to add to her list of achievements - the Green Party's prospective parliamentary candidate for Hampstead & Kilburn.

So what has her journey been, the route she travelled to reach her Green destination? In her own words ("Why I turned from red to Green", The Guardian, Wednesday 18th November 2009):

The communist states of the 20th century did for socialism. I was a dynastic communist – my parents were British Bolsheviks, they were good citizens, and became better when Khrushchev gave permission to criticise Stalinism. All that crashed with the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. They could not relinquish the Soviet Union, and thereafter our family rows were on the terrain of Russia. The worst insult my father could hurl was: "You're just a social democrat!"

I remained a communist until 1989, when it was all over. I was part of the anti-Stalinist, Euro-communist wing. We were clever, caused trouble, caught the imagination, but we lost. Or maybe we failed.

But it was feminism that clarified the unsustainability of state communism. Macho, manic productionism relies on force, it valorises conquest of nature and other humans. It marginalises the means of reproduction – how societies sustain themselves, breathe, give birth, grow and rest, clean up; how people take care, give pleasure and co-operate. Barbara Taylor's revelatory book, Eve and the New Jerusalem, published on the crest of women's liberation, told the story of industrialisation and socialist politics, utopianism and the co-operative movement. And it tells the story of these radical movements' defeat – by working men organised in their own interests as men.

The sexism – and destructiveness – of modernity was not evolutionary, it was a bitter political struggle. The outcome: men's movements masquerading as egalitarian and socialist.

Green ideology represents the reconciliation of production and reproduction – that is what yields sustainability.

So in fact there's been no journey, it's merely that Green politics offer her the same way to achieve what she always wanted to achieve via her "dynastic communism".

Well, at least she's honest about it.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

We're doomed!

My friends, that's surely the message from our very own Private Frazer, Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Remember back in mid-October when he warned us we face a "catastrophe" of floods, droughts and killer heatwaves if world leaders fail to agree a deal on climate change?

Addressing the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, he pronounced there is "no plan B" if agreement is not reached at December's UN summit in Copenhagen. Warming to his sunny theme he added that negotiators have 50 days to save the world from global warming.

Well everyone, we're now told by none other than the Obamessiah himself that time has run out to secure a legally binding climate deal at the summit and there is no choice but to delay a formal pact. What other conclusion can Frazer/Brown reach than that of our unavoidable and impending doom? Surely we should all start preparing are Armageddon Survival Packs now.

That is, of course, unless he was merely grandstanding, simply indulging in empty posturing and hyperbole, looking for the crisis which justifies government intervention.

That couldn't be true...could it?

Today's Truth

“With all [our] blessings, what more is necessary to make us a happy and a prosperous people? Still one thing more, fellow citizens – a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities.”

Thomas Jefferson - (1743-1826)
US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President

Source: First Inaugural Address
- March 4 1891

Monday, 16 November 2009

New cinema advertisement from TaxPayers' Alliance

My friends, as part of the "Ten Years On - Britain without the European Union" campaign, The TaxPayers' Alliance has produced the following cinema ad.

Not the sort of thing you expect to see when you're settling down with your popcorn and barrel of Coke at the cinema, but a welcome addition to political discourse in an election season nonetheless. Perhaps this is a sign that mainstream Euroscepticism is finally being accepted as a reasonable and moderate stance? Even the pro-Euro BBC is willing to discuss Divorcing Europe now!